According to the University of Cambridge, one of the five key challenges that young people face today is the high demand for skilled people who can think creatively, work collaboratively, take responsibility, and handle uncertainty and challenge.

I would argue that this is also one of the key challenges for employers and anyone in the workforce today. People tend to focus their attention on the technical skills needed for the career they desire rather than personal development or soft skills that are essential for success.

LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report showed that 92% of talent professionals and hiring managers say that soft skills are just as important–or more important–than hard skills.  The Florida Chamber Foundation survey found 81% of the 90 business stakeholders that participated were concerned with the lack of key skills (employability skills, soft skills,  and digital skills) as a threat to their business.

Trevor Muir, author, speaker, and professor, feels so strongly about this issue that he writes, “We need to change things up, and I think that starts with us stop calling communication, collaboration, critical thinking, work ethic, and confidence “soft skills.” Instead, let’s call them “essential skills.” They are skills that are absolutely necessary to thrive in the modern world.”

So what are the essential skills that employers need?  In all of my research, I see the same skills highlighted across all industries: problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, innovation and creativity, self-management, conflict resolution, and communication.

Are you interested in developing your essential skills? If so, stay tuned because later this year, the Women’s Resource Center will be adding programs to help!

Contributed by,

Lori Gentile

Director of Client Services, WRC